KOCHI: A Magistrate has courted controversy in the Sreejith custodial death case after suspended Varapuzha SI G S Deepak lodged a complaint alleging the magistrate refused to complete the proceedings when those arrested in connection with the attack on C M Vasudevan were produced before her on April 7, a day after the accused, including Sreejith, were taken into custody.
Deepak filed the complaint before the Ernakulam district police chief, who forwarded it to the High Court Registrar's office. In the complaint, Deepak alleged the North Paravur Judicial First Class Magistrate M Smitha sent back the accused, including Sreejith, when they were produced at her residence on April 7, without heeding the police request. The accused were taken into custody by 10.30 pm on April 6 and Sreejith died on April 9.
Those in the High Court Registrar office confirmed they had received the complaint lodged by Deepak and were processing it.
“We sought an explanation from the Magistrate and she furnished her reply. A final decision will be taken soon. Action will be recommended against the Magistrate if the probe finds dereliction of duty on her part,” the officers said.
It is learnt in her reply to the High Court, Smitha said she declined the cops' request due to the reason she was staying alone at the residence and it was difficult to complete the remand proceedings of 10 persons at night. She said she did not meet Sreejith the next day while the other nine accused persons were presented before her. A lawyer present for Sreejith's brother submitted Sreejith was undergoing treatment following custodial torture. Though she reached the hospital to record his statement, she could not do so as he had undergone an emergency surgery.
Meanwhile, the SIT has launched a probe to verify the allegations Sreejith was wrongly picked up due to mistaken identity. The investigation team headed by IG S Sreejith collected statements from the neighbours of Sreejith.